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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lavish theatrical pop woven with melancholic lyrics, 23 Mar. 2007
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Anna Ternheim is a young Swedish songwriting talent who has met with sparkling success in continental Europe (especially in Germany and in her own country where she has won the Swedish Grammy), but is practically unknown across the shores in Great Britain. This is a great shame and hopefully it won't stay that way, since she is a tremendous find: a singer of pared-down acoustics and sensitive lyrics who can rock and pop. Her voice - which betrays a light Swedish accent - is best served (I find) on the quieter tracks, where a sense of fragility seeps through. Following her first album - "Somebody Outside" of 2004 - which was characterised by a brittle authenticity, this one is more poppy, theatrical and orchestral, accompanied by dramatic cover photography of Anna standing bowed before wind turbines and turbulent skies.

The album does seem to fly off in two directions: soaring, bombastic pop on the one hand ("Calling Love", "Feels like Sand" and "One to blame", which could almost serve as a James Bond theme tune) and the quiet acoustics and piano of "Tribute to Linn", "No Subtle Men" and "Such a Lonely Soul" on the other hand. These seem more deeply felt and are threaded with a greater perceptiveness. I've read in interviews that "Separation Road" was a reaction to the melodramatics of film noir and Nosferatu as well as a way of creating a more protective distance to her audience. Perhaps it was inevitable then that "Separation Road" resulted in a mixed bag and a more commercial sound. Lyrically, though, she's still a wonder: tales of suspecting infidelity ("she'll be watching you for sure / Afraid to find out what she already knows"), the unfulfilled promise of love ("how to get to fivepoints / how would I know / halfway with high hopes / of love"), a girl homebound by fearful apathy ("God knows I tried to leave her / `Cause she's got a constant fever") and a longing for partnership ("I've waited so long / Maybe my time has come").

If you are into lavish dramatics and heartfelt pop-based songwriting, try this (the limited edition of which contains eleven naked versions). If you like more delicate music that strums with a sensitive soul, you could start with "Somebody Outside" ("I'll follow you tonight" and "I say no" are gorgeous tracks).

Wholeheartedly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced, 10 Jun. 2012
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There is a completeness & sense of a balance to these 11 tracks. Though her debut was a delight, this has expanded her introspection and added a deft measure of tweak to the tone of the entire album. There is some studio control, but her personal flavour has not been submerged. The layers of dark shades are still apparent. Stand out tracks are there, yet the others do not detract or suggest a forced need to fill the album.

Then of course there is her more sparse or naked versions on cd 2, which take the sheer talented musicianship to the fore. Not over-engineered, they are not flat nor so introspective as to be heavy. Acoustic simplicity is clean and allows her voice to persuade without need for efforvescent noises.

As she mentions in interviews, each album is supposed to be distinctly different, clearly not be just more of the same. The later album Leaving on a Mayday is majestic, yet has far more engineering apparent. Her debut was almost subdued by contrast, suggested by the locale in which it was made, which ensured it was beautifully personal. The Night Visitor album has a sense of americana to it, of the locale or fellow musicians again, with the musicianship to the fore, yet somehow has, personally, a more open & less introspective feel. In short, she seems to be sensitive to who she is with, where she is at and how she is feeling at any one moment. Obviously the mark of an artiste, the reflection of an honest soul. One album will never have the measure of her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this version, 13 April 2014
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This version is the one to get, including the second CD of 'naked versions'. These are the tracks that really show Anna's vocal talents.
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Separation Road
Separation Road by Anna Ternheim (Audio CD - 2006)
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